Parks Board Affirmation of Equity Statement

Portland Parks Board Affirmation of Equity Statement.

We recognize that race, socio-economic status, and where you live in Portland are all factors in each resident’s ability to access park facilities and services. The more we are able to diminish the barriers of these factors the further we will be in achieving our vision of equity.

We look at equity through a conceptual framework inclusive of Race, Geography (the community in which one lives), Socio-economic Status and Disability. Equity is both the means to creating and sustaining healthy communities and an end that benefits us all. It requires the intentional examination of systemic policies and practices that, even if they have the appearance of fairness, may, in effect, serve to marginalize some and perpetuate disparities. An understanding of historic implications of systemic racism together with the active investment in strategies, practices and programs over time is essential to the advancement of our equity goals.

We believe that Portland Parks and Recreation staff should be encouraged and empowered to view the promotion of equity as a core principle in their respective roles. This commitment can be honored and advanced by the Bureau of Parks and Recreation continuing to focus on the following areas.

  • Hiring staff that exceeds the broad diversity of the populations of Portland that have been historically underrepresented on Parks staff
  • Hiring reflects diversity through recruitment, retention, and advancement within the Bureau
  • Directing resources and programs to underserved populations
  • Collaborating with underserved populations to design services and create innovative culturally appropriate strategies and partnerships to reach these populations.
  • Working within City systems and processes to contract minority businesses.
  • Strengthening and enhancing the organizational culture of openness, transparency with a goal of continual learning.

We also are a contributor to the vision and work of equity within Portland Parks & Recreation. As a board we will be leaders in reflecting the demographics of the shifting population of Portland. This commitment can be advanced by:

  • Recruiting and retaining board members that reflect the diversity of Portland including geographic representation.
  • Sharing the presentation guidelines to assure that all presentations at Parks Board meetings include discussions of equity issues.

Vision of Parks 2020 frames the work of the Portland Parks Board and the Bureau of Parks and Recreation. Eleven years into the work of 2020, the Parks Board recognizes that to achieve the objectives set forth we must diligently apply an equity lens to better frame our work and more fully achieve our important community goals.

We believe that we have a shared fate—as individuals within a community and communities within society.